Sunday, July 23, 2017
   
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A Sponsorship Success Story

Throughout the past year, I have searched for signs of light in the midst of darkness in Haiti. The sponsorship program to help children start or continue school was one bright light. In 2006, amid the more than 166 students in school, seven were successful in national exams to complete primary school. This may not seem like a major accomplishment; however, just one of their stories will show that it is.

Yolette first came to my attention when she brought her younger brother to the nutrition centre each day. She was a quiet little girl, serious and responsible. As time went on and her brother did not improve, I met her Mom and learned more of the family’s circumstances. Yolette was the oldest of five children.

Their father had been injured in a work-related accident and was partially paralyzed and unable to work. Their house was a shack with no water, electricity or latrine. Their Mom borrowed money to run a small business in the street but suffered from frequent headaches and was often unable to work. We treated her headaches and helped her start her own business.  With a small grant she no longer needed to borrow and pay interest.

Yolette, who was 11 years old, expressed a desire to go to school so we helped her to go to an afternoon school for older children where she could learn to read and write. It soon became apparent that she was very bright and motivated and so we helped her to transfer to a regular school where she has continued to receive top marks. This fall, after completing the national exams, she started secondary school. The other four children in the family are now also in school and Yolette supervises their schoolwork before it gets dark. They are all doing as well as she is.

These children are the hope of Haiti’s future.

By Rosemary Fry CSJ

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